Will HR have anything to do with managing positions overtaken by AI?

The labor market is being transformed amidst the technological revolution. The world has gone through a number of changes in terms of the workforce needed. Some industries have almost fully eliminated the need for human staff. Digitalization is not only benefiting the customers but is also reducing the operational costs for businesses, governmental institutions, and even freelancers. 

Before moving onto the more ‘futuristic’ perspectives of the labor market, and particularly the AI, we should put the process into the context of how things have been changing over the past few decades. The era of digitalization did not begin a few years ago but it has been around for a while. From the introduction of first computing devices, we have been adapting to the new way of living which makes many parts of our daily lives much easier. The widespread use of gadgets surely is a 21st-century thing that came with the popularity of smartphones and other smart devices that have now overtaken the entire world. There now are even smart fridges, TVs and washing machines with the prospects of forming fully-smart homes in the nearest future. Those would have been simply unimaginable at the beginning of this millennium. 

The recent 10 years have most certainly made the biggest impact on industries from education to finance. University assignments are now performed through different specially tailored platforms whilst school children enjoy software such as “Google Classroom”, making communication easier for both students and teachers. 

the financial industry has gone through the biggest transformation in centuries. The sector that has been around for a long time has revolutionized the way it works through digital adoption. Performing the vast majority of banking operations no longer requires getting to the office. Everything can now easily be done through web and mobile platforms provided by almost all commercial banks. They offer much more convenience and extremely user-friendly interfaces. These changes have attracted millions of people to various banking services, considering that rural populations all around the world did not have proper access to those beforehand. Trading, a crucial part of the financial industry, has also changed. It requires solid knowledge and experience to achieve success in trading. Calculations and technical operations can now be performed more easily with the help of the AI software that assists traders. One of those highly acclaimed programs is Profit Secret which is considered a true breakthrough in the sector. The software helps traders in calculating risks, assessing different markets, and placing trades safely. This is where the AI becomes of exceptional significance and where it can certainly help. 

Artificial intelligence replacing workers 

The number of jobs replaced by AI is soaring, but many people do not realize what artificial intelligence really is. Hearing AI, the vast majority of people immediately think of a human-like robot that can speak like a person and move like one as well. The idea of AI as a replica of a human being has been building up within popular culture, TV, and literature. Robots in movies usually take human form or are somewhat similar to us. In reality, artificial intelligence is much more complex and widely used. 

From the era of Pac-Man, we have been using AI to support different computing operations. The majority of video games and mobile applications ever since have been using AI but in different shapes and sizes. What we have today is not an accomplished idea of a self-development oriented AI machine that could think, make decisions, and potentially act on its own. Rather, we are talking about specifically sector-tailored algorithms that can help us achieve more with less human labor. 

A very primitive example of such use of AI is farming. Not many people know that the agricultural sector is being heavily digitalized and the use of artificial intelligence is growing proportionally. Farms in major and technologically advanced food-exporting countries, like the Netherlands, have moved onto fully automated irrigation systems and climate controls. Open farms or greenhouses are equipped with sensors and computers that make decisions about the need for water, regulate temperature, and sometimes even more. From what we see now, the expectation is that technology will advance even further, significantly lowering the number of employees in the sector. 

The same situation is evident in many other sectors, particularly in highly-developed nations. The manufacturing industry is particularly well-automated with the help of artificial intelligence. The number of employees at major factories and power plants is reducing day by day, plummeting the operational costs. Using artificial intelligence often also makes the facility more efficient, wasting fewer resources, and being more environmentally friendly. But what about tens of thousands of employees in the HR and some management positions who are supposed to overlook, hire, and manage those in factories, farms, and plants? What is their future if so many positions are being replaced by the AI? 

The future of HR in the 

The world’s leading research and analytics bureau Gartner has reported that 1 out of 4 companies are already trialing AI in the HR domain. This particularly concerns online recruiting, automatic categorization of the applications and even making decisions regarding them. Yet, not many people realize the vulnerability of HR workers towards the automation process. 

However, we should take a more complex approach and a thorough look at this comprehensive process. HR workers will not have to do anything with the jobs replaced by machines. There is simply only so much a human worker can do. There is no role of an HR officer in hiring AI algorithms. Nevertheless, this coin certainly has a very positive side. According to the Gartner paper, AI will eliminate an estimated 1.8 million low and middle-level jobs over the next few years due to automation. The report also states that AI will create and support more than 2.3 million jobs which will primarily be for highly-qualified workers, with more pay and benefits. Therefore, HR professionals will still have job opportunities, but mainly in high-tech, financial and eCommerce sectors. 

Despite the AI’s overwhelmingly positive impact on the labor market, including the HR domain, people in this sector will still unfortunately lose jobs. Those employed at farms, factories and other facilities will find it difficult to occupy other positions that are not related to their previous experience. However, in the big picture, the impact of AI on HR will remain predominantly positive with more jobs created in the sector than ever before. Therefore, this highly valued profession is not to disappear anytime soon. 

Author: Editorial Team

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